No site is complete without a page for valuable links. While many links are already referenced in various articles, some topics are not covered or deserve their own entry. Here are a few favorites.
Porquinhos da Índia - a downloadable book about guinea pigs written in Portuguese by Regiane Bagni (Guia de Informações e Cuidados Para Donos por Regiane Bagni)
(click on photo for pdf)
As our cavies get older, their bodies change. We need to pay special attention in order to catch problems early. Vicki of JPGPR has written a useful and comprehensive article on aging in guinea pigs called "Old Timers". She suggests monitoring several important health issues.
So you are convinced you are allergic to your pet? Don't give up!
For Teresa, "Giving your pet up for adoption should be your last option, not a physician's first."
Check out Cavy Spirit for solid information on how to deal with human allergies. This comprehensive discussion will help you pinpoint the problem and cope with it and is a must read for any pet owner who believes he or she is having a reaction to their pet or something in their pet's environment.
And for even more advice, read Vicki of JPGPR article, Aaaah Choo! I'm Allergic to My Guinea Pig!
Not mentioned is the possibility that your pet may have a parasite like Cheyletiella parasitivorax, a furmite. After being in contact with their cavies, pet owners can experience itching and red skin eruptions from digestive enzymes produced by these parasites.
Occasionally a new guinea pig may bite. Check out Vicki's kind and enlightening article ("Little Nippers") at JPGPR and Teresa's page, "Working with Biting Guinea Pigs", at Cavy Spirit for advice. An ill guinea pig or guinea pig with mites may also bite. Make sure your pet has been recently treated for mites with ivermectin to rule this out. Mange mites are microscopic and skin scrapings unreliable so it may not be apparent that they are present. Read the articles on mange mites and ivermectin for more information.
Do you know how risky pregnancy can be for a guinea pig? Don't take a chance with your pet! Learn more at Cavy Spirit.
Patricia Simon has dealt with diabetes in two of her pigs. They were diagnosed at the young age of 18 months. Read an account of her experiences and their treatment at:
Check out her Diabetes page for the warning signs (which include unexplained weight loss, sudden onset of cataracts, frequent urination, repeated urinary tract infections, and excess drinking). She feels any of these signs warrant a trip to the vet, who should explore diabetes as a possible cause.
Thanks, Patricia, for sharing your experiences!
See also Janice Vannevel's article, available at PubMed (Can Vet J Volume 39, August 1998) concerning a 3 year old female guinea pig diagnosed with diabetes. Article - Printable Copy of Article
A diagnosis of diabetes mellitus was made when blood glucose levels indicated diabetes was likely. Initial treatment with Baytril 5mg/kg q24h and oral hypoglycemic glyburide - 0.625mg PO q24h helped initially but was later discontinued and replaced with NPH insulin (initially 1.0 IU q12h, later increased to 2.0 IU in am but 1.0 IU in evening). The owner monitored glucose and ketone levels in urine at home. Guinea pig was placed in a plastic box and rewarded with lettuce after peeing (sow quickly learned to pee). Ketones remained negative. Glucose was trace after giving human NPH insulin ("possible peak effect at 6 h and duration of effect of approximately 12 h"). The writer emphasized the "necessity of a urine analysis in all instances of cystitis".
You may find Dr. Nakamura's article, Euthanasia of Guinea Pigs helpful if your pet is seriously ill. See also Dealing With Pet Loss at this site, especially if the pet is your child's.
is hands down the best site on the net for advice on housing your cavy.
Want to know the pros and cons of different beddings? Wonder what cages are available commercially? Need ideas for toys? Information on hay? Ever thought of giving your guinea pigs a whole room? It's all there, and more.
Follow her generous space guidelines for housing cavies and you will have healthier, happier animals. And consider making your own Cubes and Coroplast cage using her great directions.
A neutered pig is one whose reproductive organs have been removed. In a female, it is referred to as a spay and the ovaries and uterus are removed (an ovariohysterectomy). In a male the testicles are removed (referred to as a castration or neuter). An ovariohysterectomy in a sow is generally considered more invasive and is only done for medical reasons (for example, to remove cystic ovaries). The only good reason to neuter a male is to enable the two sexes to live together, avoiding the considerable risks of unwanted pregnancies. Neutering does not change the personality of the boar, though over time an animal may become somewhat less aggressive.
Neutering a boar should not be contemplated lightly. Read Vicki of JPGPR article on the risks of neuters. Any surgery carries significant risks. Even a skilled surgeon can lose an animal during surgery (reactions to anesthesia) or post operatively (infection). One can minimize risk by finding a vet who has significant experience doing surgery on guinea pigs (they should have performed multiple successful neuters to be considered). Check out "Finding a Vet" for further advice on locating a competent veterinarian. The vet should determine that the cavy is healthy (a good surgical risk) and a good age for the surgery. After a neuter, a boar needs to remain separated from females for an additional 3 to 4 weeks to ensure there are no sperm present.
Teresa's neutering page includes a thorough discussion of neutering, detailed information on the surgery itself, to explain precisely what the vet will do during the surgery and information on postoperative care on her Cavy Spirit website. Anyone considering neutering their boar should read it carefully.
While a few hints and guidelines are included on Guinea Lynx (see: Sexing), the most thorough page on how to determine what sex your guinea pig is has to be at Cavy Spirit. Be sure to check the many pics of young, old, neutered and intact males and females if you have any questions concerning what sex your pig is. Pet stores are notorious for missexing cavies and even vets can make mistakes. So take time to figure out if your new pig is really "George" and not "Georgina".
These two little words are the doorway to understanding your pigs.
How many cavies should you have? How do you improve the odds of a successful match? How do you do introductions? What are the pros and cons of neutering and spaying? These and many more topics are covered on this informative page. Social Life is a must for anyone adding a new pig to the mix.
Guinea Pigs are for Life